genomics lite: antimicrobial resistance in focusBook Now
This session will explore what antimicrobial resistance is, how genomics is involved, how it can be researched in the lab, as well as highlighting the career journey of our guest speaker.
Our guest speaker for Genomics Lite: Antimicrobial Resistance in Focus is Dr Christine Boinett. Christine is a geneticist and bioinformatician who is interested in understanding and tracking antimicrobial resistance to help inform intervention strategies.
Genomics Lite in Focus is a programme of live webinars to inspire and engage upper secondary school students, teachers and other educational groups. Each talk explores a different field in biology in focus, highlighting how genomics research contributes to understanding the topic.
Each 75 minute session includes a 30 minute talk on the topic, a 15 minute talk about the speakers career journey, and time for Q&A with the audience. Polls and audience questions are used throughout to encourage interaction between the audience and the speaker.
Learn more about antimicrobial resistance
These resources are designed to support and further attendees understanding of antimicrobial resistance, and are aimed at students in upper secondary years (e.g. year 10 and higher).
What is antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance describes microorganisms - including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites - that no longer respond to medicines designed to kill them. Antibiotic resistance is where bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to antibiotics.
Antibiotics, like penicillin, are drugs developed to combat bacteria by killing them or stopping them growing. Resistance occurs when these bacteria no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them.
This resistance can spread between bacteria by horizontal gene transfer - the ability of bacteria to transfer their genetic material to each other - through three mechanisms: conjugation, transformation and transduction.
This comic-style game shows how fast this resistance can spread in a colony of bacteria, and the resulting ineffectiveness of an antibiotic treatment.
Watch this video series as an overview of what pathogenic bacteria are, what antibiotics are, and how antibiotic resistance arises and spreads:
How is antibiotic resistance studied?
Different bacterial strains can be identified in the lab - this virtual lab interactive highlights the main steps involved in identifying bacteria from the DNA sequence.
Genomics sequencing can help track drug-resistance in bacteria like MRSA to keep ahead of potential outbreaks.
Check out this interactive resistance graph from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, that tracks antibiotic resistance of different pathogens.